What is South Watch?
South Watch is an initiative developed by the South Side Community Council (SSCC) and the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) to address various community issues in a systematic way. Residents meet monthly with the following officials to discuss community issues/problems and work towards solutions:
- Zone 3 police
- Representatives from Public Works, Public Safety, Pittsburgh Parking Authority and the Mayor’s office
- Duquesne University
Our mission is “the South Side Flats and Slopes Code Enforcement Project works to improve the quality of life on South Side by bringing people and institutions together to identify code violations, advocate for their remediation and monitor the outcomes.”
The significant trash violations throughout the flats and slopes were chosen as the main focus of South Watch but this does not exclude other pertinent South Side issues. Visual inspection of the community makes it evident that illegal trash storage practices can cause the neighborhood to be perceived as an unsafe place to live in or visit. The impact of uncontrolled trash can be significant – a breeding ground for rodent, lower property values, a higher crime rate and more.
Because representatives from several city and state departments, as well as Duquesne University and Zone 3 police attend the South Watch meetings, those in attendance become more aware of quality of life issues in the South Side and what is being done to solve them. In addition, opportunities arise for collaboration among those in attendance. For example, representatives from Duquesne University work more closely with Environmental Services staff to educate their students about their community responsibilities. When Zone 3 police are called to student residences for noise and excessive partying, the officers have been directed to write a report and issue citations if there are violations. In addition the police will provide information to Duquesne University staff (when the residents were DU students) who then meet with the students a few days afterward to remind them of the importance of being a good neighbor. They also contact Pitt police if the students attend the University of Pittsburgh.
How Do We Address the Trash Issues?
South Watch committee developed procedures that volunteers from the SS slopes and flats employ to educate residents about violations before a 311 report is filed. We use an orange door hang tag to notify residents of the following:
- Refuse is to be placed at the curb no earlier than 6 PM on Wednesday evening and no later than 6 AM on Thursday morning. Containers shall be removed from the collection site and stored no later than 10 PM on collection days. (Article II, 2.01b)
- Refuse shall be stored until collection in durable, water-tight containers having a close fitting lids up to 35 gallons. (Article II, 2.01a1)
- Owner/landlord should have a sufficient number/capacity of containers on the premises to prevent overflow of materials. (Article II, 2.01a3)
- Waste shall not be accumulated on any abutting sidewalk, street or vacant ground. (Article II, 2.01a3)
Did you know?
South Watch had identified over 400 properties as having trash violations or problem issues like disruptive parties or unsafe structures.
How do I stay up to date with South Watch?
- South Watch meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at the Brashear Association.
- Meeting times alternate each month; meetings are either 12:00 noon or 6:00 p.m.
- If you have any community concerns, please email the South Watch Committee at SouthWatch15203@gmail.com